Wednesday, April 29, 2015

Habits of Burgundy and Black

 Brother John-Joseph and Brother Gilbert in front of Beit Achim (House of Brothers in Hebrew)
The Little Eucharistic Brothers of Divine Will have now decided to wear the burgundy work habit with a black scapular. This is now our permanent habit. The burgundy robe is worn once one enters the novitiate and the black scapular is worn when one becomes a temporary professed consecrated brother.

 The burgundy symbolises the Precious Blood and the Eucharist and the black is our consecration to the darkness of Mary's Mystical Womb, the hiddenness and dark cloud of St Joseph's protection and the hiddenness of the Holy Family. The Huon Valley in Tasmania where we live is often ringed with dark clouds and Tasmania was called the Isle of St Joseph by Father Julian Tenison-Woods who founded the Josephite Order of Nuns with St Mary Mckillop and the Sisters of Perpetual Adoration of the Blessed Sacrament in 1874 with Mother Stanislaus (Catherine) Gaffney.

The Little Eucharistic Brothers of Divine Will began in Perth at St Bernadette's Parish on May 13 2013 when Father Doug Harris the Moderator of the APA and Brother Gilbert (the Acting Assistant Moderator of the APA) and Brother John-Joseph (who was entering the novitiate) decided to call the consecrated brothers within the Apostles of Perpetual Adoration (APA) the Little Eucharistic Brothers of Divine Will and begin the process of developing a distinct rule of life for contemplative-active brothers as opposed to that for other members of the APA. At that time the brothers habit was changed from a white robe with charcoal grey/brown scapular and black rope to a white robe with burgundy Scapular and black rope.

Brother Gilbert and Brother John-Joseph felt that the Lord was calling them to move to the Eastern States in order to spend time developing the brotherhood. At first they considered Melbourne but the Holy Spirit eventually led them to Tasmania where they arrived on February 6 2014. Brother Gilbert received the word of Sandy Bay when praying about where God wanted them to go in the October or November of 2013. Brother Gilbert googled Sandy Bay Parish and began praying for the parish priest Father Michael Tate. They also felt God wanted them to go to Tasmania to pray and intercede for the new Archbishop of Tasmania Julian Porteous.

They lived in Kettering for a month (staying with Brother Gilbert's relatives Karen and Alan) traveling to Sandy Bay each day to daily Mass at St Canice Church in Lower Sandy Bay and Holy Spirit Church in Sandy Bay on Sundays. They had a good meeting with Archbishop Julian Porteous in late February. On March 7 2014 (with the approval of the Archbishop and the support of Father Tate) they moved to Taroona where they rented the presbytery of St Pius X Church (part of the Sandy Bay Parish). They did Eucharistic Adoration at the three Churches in the Sandy Bay parish with the permission of Father Michael Tate the parish priest.  Brother John-Joseph made his promises (simple private vows) as a temporary professed consecrated brother on May 13 2014 before Father Doug Harris our Moderator who was visiting us at that time from Perth. At this time the brothers started wearing a burgundy work robe as well as the white robe with burgundy scapular for Mass and more formal wear.

At the beginning of 2015 Father Tate was transferred to the Huon Valley Parish and the brothers moved there to rent a house in Huonville on February 6 2015A month or so before Father Tate received the news of his transfer Brother Gilbert in prayer had felt God telling us to "Go South" and he googled real estate in the area but he imagined it would be a matter of years before such a venture could occur. The Holy Spirit had other ideas. A week before Father Tate's announcement Brother Gilbert read a prophecy by St John Bosco about the Angel of Australia telling the people to go south and shared it with Brother John-Joseph. 

The brothers began Adoration at St Mary of the Cross (McKillop) in Ranelagh at the invitation of Father Tate. In Huonville they added the black scapular to the working burgundy robe and decided this would be the habit of the brothers from now on. Part of the decision was the impractical nature of white for men but also to express our growing devotion to St Joseph in all things. You can imagine our delight when the Josephite nuns told us that Father Julian Tenison Woods ministered in the Huon Valley and called Tasmania the Isle of St Joseph. The one place visited by Mother Mary Mckillop in Tasmania was none other than the Good Shepherd Convent with its Church of St Canice in Lower Sandy Bay.

Brother Gilbert with our aspirant Joe.

Also on February 6 2015 we received our new aspirant Joe from Penrith in New South Wales who will begin his postulancy in May.  Our aspirancy lasts for three months followed by postulancy for 4 months. Joe (all going well) will enter the novitiate on the feast of King Stephen of Hungary in August as Joe was born in Hungary and came to Australia as a small child.

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